from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A native or inhabitant of New England.
  • n. A native or inhabitant of a northern U.S. state, especially a Union soldier during the Civil War.
  • n. A native or inhabitant of the United States.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The letter Y in the ICAO spelling alphabet.
  • n. A native or inhabitant of New England.
  • n. A native or inhabitant of the Northern USA. (used in this sense especially by inhabitants of the Southern USA)
  • n. A native or inhabitant of the USA. (used in this sense especially outside of the USA)
  • n. A large triangular headsail used in light or moderate winds and set on the fore topmast stay. Unlike a genoa it does not fill the whole fore triangle, but is set in combination with the working staysail.
  • n. A player that plays for the New York Yankees.
  • n. A wager on four selections, consisting of 11 separate bets: six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold accumulator. A minimum two selections must win to gain a return.
  • v. to cheat, trick or swindle somebody; to misrepresent something

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a Yankee; characteristic of the Yankees.
  • n. A nickname for a native or citizen of New England, especially one descended from old New England stock; by extension, an inhabitant of the Northern States as distinguished from a Southerner; also, applied sometimes by foreigners to any inhabitant of the United States.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Spanking; excellent. Also used adverbially.
  • n. A citizen of New England.
  • n. By extension, a native of the United States.
  • n. A soldier of the Federal armies: so called by the Confederates during the war of secession. See Yank.
  • n. A glass of whisky sweetened with molasses.
  • Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Yankees: as, Yankee smartness or invention; Yankee notions.
  • n. A name for various special tools in various industries, usually given because of their American origin or because they have proved handy and ingenious; specifically, a molders' lifting-tool with the shank curved to admit it to places difficult of access.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an American who lives in the North (especially during the American Civil War)
  • n. an American who lives in New England
  • n. an American (especially to non-Americans)
  • adj. used by Southerners for an inhabitant of a northern state in the United States (especially a Union soldier)


Probably from Dutch Janke, nickname of Jan, John.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1683, as a name applied disparagingly by Dutch settlers in Nieuw Amsterdam (New York) to English colonists in neighboring Connecticut. It may be from Dutch Janke ("Little John"), the old diminutive form of the common personal name Jan, or it may be from Jan Kees, the familiar form of "Johan Cornelius", or a variant of Jan Kaas, literally "John Cheese", the generic nickname the Flemings used for Dutchmen. It originally seems to have been applied insultingly to Dutch, especially freebooters, before they turned around and applied it to the English. In English it was a term of contempt (1750s) before it came to be used as a general term for "a native of New England" (1765). The shortened form Yank was first recorded in reference to "an American" in 1778. (Wiktionary)



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